a gift

by jenna on August 2, 2011

Have I told you all recently that you rock? Because you do.

I can’t even believe that over one hundred of you committed to the 21 Day Yoga Challenge! Awesome.

So, how’s it going?

It was a chilly foggy morning here today and for a split second, I was tempted to roll over in my nice warm bed and catch thirty extra minutes of sleep. But…then I thought of you! And I got up and got my butt to an hour long yoga class. And guess what? I felt so much better after I did. Sometimes it’s hard to get up and go in the morning, especially if you got to sleep late or are just plain lazy (hand raising high), but I can promise you that you’ll never regret it once you’re up. As with anything, the hardest part is taking the first step.

But…..sometimes over the next 19 days, the bed will win. And on those days, why not try a gentle lunar yoga class at home before bed? Here’s one of my favorites (it’s free and only 20 minutes long!).

Today in my yoga class, my instructor was talking about how so often we either live in the future or in the past when we should be relishing the present moment. So often when I lay in savasana, my mind instantly goes to the list I have to get to later, the cute shoes I saw at Macy’s or what I’m going to make for dinner. Other times, I’ll lay there thinking about how I should have said or done something different the day before.

Make it a point today in your practice to really enjoy the present moment. No matter how long your practice is, focus on taking slow deep breathes and acknowledging the the fact that practicing yoga is a gift. A gift that some people can’t enjoy. Do it for them.

Namaste.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara P August 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Excellent point – so true!

Namaste!!

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ally@girlVFood August 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Are you ever going to enter Baptiste Training to become a yoga teacher? You adore it so much, and you seem to truly ‘live’ your yoga on and off the mat, I think you’d be an excellent teacher. :)

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Beth @ Beth's Journey August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Love the idea of living in the present. CaitlinHTP recently said you can have your heart in the future but your mind in the present, and I loved that!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Beautiful post! Did my yoga after breakfast. Had me struggling a bit (lots of arm work) but I felt so good afterwards!

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Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’m headed to a power yoga class tonight, and I will definitely try to stay in the present. Great tip!

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Karen @ Forty Cloves August 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

And you’ve inspired so many of us – that, too, is a gift. Thank you!!

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Amanda August 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

So great! I also went to a 6am class and it was tough to get out of bed, but I reminded myself that I’m always glad that I go. Feeling great!

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Elle August 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

It can be really difficult to stay in the present all the time, especially during savasana.

Something I read once that has helped me a lot with it is to just be an observer to my thoughts and let them go by like leaves passing by on a river.

My yoga practice today was good and sweaty – a different instructor than usual. Not my favorite instructor like I was expecting, but that’s okay!

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Corey @ Learning Patience August 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Excellent point! Did my yoga on my patio after my run today! xoxo from Trinidad

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Ashley August 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Yes, so true….yoga is a gift. I thank God every time I practice, that I am able to just move and feel my body. I’m going to Slow Flow tonight and Flow Yoga at 6am on Friday!!

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Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy August 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I like the idea of living in the present. So often I find myself worrying about everything in the future that I let the present fly on by!

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Sara Gedde August 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I did yoga for 20 minutes lastnight when I probably should have been in bed… and I was so happy I did! I slept way way better then I usually do and my shins and calves were sore from work, and it really helped me feel better! Thanks again for starting this jenna!

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) August 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I am constantly living in the past and future. The present . . . . eh. . . scares me. Lol. Though I was very much enjoying my present last night doing 1/2 hour of yoga before bed. I sweated. I laughed with Dave and I loved every single minute :) I am looking forward these dog days of yoga summer.

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Marian @ Marian Writes August 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I’ve committed to the challenge as well! doing yoga every day in August is one of the goals I’ve made for the month. I’m so excited! Way to go — I know how hard it can be to get out of bed in the morning!

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alyssa - fashion fitness foodie August 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I am thinking about joining as well!!

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine August 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Great post, Jenna. Amen to all of it!

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girl in the pink August 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Any yoga studio recommendations in Sonoma County area? Santa Rosa specifically! I’m new to SR!

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jenna August 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I work at Three Dog Yoga…it’s a Baptiste studio–come try it out! :)

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Baking 'n' Books August 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

What style/type do you typically do? Vinyasa? Power?

I only did 10 min’s…:( and that’s all I may be able to do for a bit – but every bit.

I actually did the yoga teacher training a couple of years ago. My life has taken many turns and tumbles and I’m struggling with something else personally now that “drives” me away from it. Funny this is, I feel that until I “get” rid of these struggles – then only can I commit to yoga…but otherwise I feel like I’m not “good enough” or worthy or healthy enough if I did poorly in other areas (like food).

I know that’s wrong. The mind is a hard thing to talk to isn’t it? Hence, the “moment” thing. ;)

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Baking 'n' Books August 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Sorry ! That’s not my pic :( I don’t know why that happens…apparently wordpress gave this email/gmail address to someone else before as it’s still an issue. I should use my own..uh, sorry.

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jenna k August 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

i went to a yoga class last week that was focused on “saying yes.” she encouraged us to “say yes” to harder poses we didn’t think we could do- even if we fell on our butts. and then to carry that out into everyday life by not setting limits on ourselves. it was seriously an amazing class.

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Cait's Plate August 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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Chris August 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I have committed. 21.days. I will prevail! Just getting out of bed is a gift. Wish I had a “class” to go to. Just me and my podcast!

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Caitlin August 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

That’s what I needed to hear. Thanks, Jenna!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles August 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Very wise words. At one point I became aware of how stressed out I would get in savasana because I would start running over the list of all the stuff I had to do when I got home from yoga class. Sigh. Being present in mind is very hard to do. I pretty much suck at it.

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Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food August 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I love that your mixing up your posts! :)

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Gina (Yogattude) August 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I love this! I also went to an early morning class (sencond day in a row – woot!) and I feel great…I even walked to work this morning:) Yesterday I found myself in a state of mind chatter throughout my practice, but today I made my intention for being in the present moment and totally IN my practice. I had such a fab experience…I actually almost started doing my own thing, going ahead of the instructor….It was like my body was going where it wanted to go! I’m going to make the same intention for my next few classes and see if I can take presence off the mat too. Thank you for this challenge:)

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Louise August 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Long time reader … hardly ever comment (slaps own wrist) … but I just wanted to say this post was exactly what I NEEDED to read this morning, and has served up a big slice of inspiration! So thank you Jenna :-)

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Sarah August 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Loving the words of encouragement, and especially the links to free yoga downloads! Those will be really helpful!

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Rachel August 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I have been following your blog for a long time now and like Louise, have never made a comment but…that all ends today when I say that I LOVE this idea. I’m going to ashtanga tonight (HOTTT) and I’m going to really think about the present! I’ve only been practicing for a year but I have already seen so much growth and progress. Your post has really helped me get going on this 21 day challenge! It’s time to make a habit!!

Thanks Jenna, you rock!!

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Kath August 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I love yoga so much. But I don’t love the studios here. And it’s so hard for me to do podcasts at home without a drifting mind.

What I would give for a Baptiste studio here..

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock August 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Perfectly put Jenna! My work day starts pretty early, so I’m planning to enjoy some evening routines. Cheers!

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kathleen August 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Yes! I have been thinking a lot about enjoying the present moment too. Especially when it doesn’t feel that great. Its easy to forget all the good bits and pieces in amongst the daily to-do lists. Good luck for your 21 days!

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath August 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I loved my yoga class today! It was haaaaaaard but amazing. The begining was tough because there was so much on my mind, but by the end everything was clear. Love that

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Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise August 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for the reminder….Need to start living in the present way more often!!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes August 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm

this really sounds like a great idea! :)

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Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland August 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I love that so many people are participating!! I’m getting ready to head to yoga right now! Namaste!!

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EllenE August 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I actually did one of the Dave Farmar podcasts this morning, and it was awesome! So convenient when I can’t get to/can’t afford a class… great post!

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Mandy August 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to start yoga up again so this challenge could not have come at a better time.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I love this post.

Every time I begin my asana practice I try to set an intention. And at the end of my practice (if I didnt at the beginning) I dedicate my practice to someone or something; someone who may need some healing energy, someone who impacted me, something that changed or challenged me..I always view my practice as a gift that I in turn try to pass on.

Beautiful post, Jenna.

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Natalie August 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Averie,

I do this to at the end of my practice. It feels amazing.

I always begin with “I would like to thank myself for practing the teacher who guided me through and the energy around me that helped me through…” and then pick someone or something (similar to you) to dedicate my practice. I feel so good about saying this.

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Natalie August 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Beautiful Post Jenna!
I am truly inspired by the yoga community at the moment and was thinking about your 21 day challenge on my way to work this morning and at first I thought about cutting dirty diet soda out of my diet because I really took notice to you saying ”…its takes at least 21 days to break a habit..” then I thought about yoga and I am extremely devoted to my practice so I thought I didn’t need to challenge myself but then I thought about BACKBENDS and I am trying to one day grab onto my ankles so for the next 21 days I am going to practice backbending whether I am at yoga, at home or at the gym I am going to backbend to my furtherst point at least once a day.

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jenna August 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

that’s awesome, natalie!!

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Karen August 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Big thanks to you for the presenting the challenge to us, Jenna (and thanks for the link!) I love that you keep us surprised by writing such an electic mix of posts!

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katie @KatieDid August 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I find it difficult to commit to yoga at home as I easily get distracted. I know it takes some practice, so I will start small. A few salutations in the morning and work up from there. I love a good challenge, and I’ve been meaning to incorporate yoga back into my life after much too long a hiatus!

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Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep August 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I started the 21 days today, and I should have read this post before I did. The yoga sessions on OnDemand have a countdown clock at the top of the screen, and all I could think of was “15 more minutes”, “10 more minutes” like I wanted it to end. I’ve never felt that way about yoga before. I don’t know why I didn’t enjoy it, but I will prevail. Tomorrow brings a new day of yoga :)

Namaste!

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Mich August 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Did my yoga today in our home’s “office” space after I had to lock the pup in the crate since he kept stepping on me and my yoga mat- hope I can continue it!

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Julie August 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I started a day late, but it felt good! For anyone interested, pocket yoga (http://www.amazon.com/Rainfrog-LLC-Pocket-Yoga/dp/B004TUI036) is pretty sweet. I have it for android, but it also works for iphones, etc. It’s nice to use while you’re travelling!

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kaila @ healthyhelper August 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Love this Jenna! I am definitely going to try and increase my yoga-ing!

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Molly August 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I completely agree. Staying in the present is key to a healthy mind and healthy lifestyle. Just as being conscious in freedom or finding balance through your unbalanced self. It’s a challenge but it is worth it.

Coincidentally I started a 30 day- for 30 dollars- yoga pass three days ago and have been going strong. I just saw the challenge and am so excited to have other motivators to reassure me that getting out of bed is the best thing for me.

So THANK you :)

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Jill August 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I know your post today was about yoga. BUT tell me more about the chilly foggy morning. It was 111 degrees today here in Texas. I’m desperate. What does chilly weather feel like? Will I ever experience chilly weather again?

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Margaret August 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I just read about your yoga challenge. Since I have already practiced for the last two days I am in. It sounds like awesome fun even if it means that four days I will have to practice on a ship. If nothing else it will make for a good story.

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Kristina August 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

So true about laying in Savasana thinking of other things… I do it all the time even though I know I shouldn’t! Guess that’s what yoga is all about though – enjoying the present moment and quieting the mind. Thanks for the lovely reminder :)

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Notyet100 August 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Namaste ,I luved the way u ended the post :)

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Errign August 3, 2011 at 3:33 am

I’ve totally fallen in love with yoga in the last few months, and even set a goal to myself to practice every day in July (I didn’t quiteee get everyday). Yoga really has taught me to respect and honor myself, and to show compassion for others & my body, on and off the mat. I love the idea of your challenge, and I’m enjoying following along with everyone participating. I wrote a recap of my challenge on my blog, if anyone is interested.

Thank you Jenna, for making your blog a happy, normal, healthy (in every sense) blog to read and visit.

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Nicole August 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

Have any of you checked out yogatoday.com ? Its a godsend…free yoga class each weeks and hundreds of streaming classes with subscription, I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to have a daily at home practice.

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krissy August 3, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi, I just really want to thank you,Jenna, for writing about this challenge and inspiring me to take part. It’s been a really hard&hectic few months for my boyfriend and myself with graduating from graduate school, moving, trying to find jobs, losing jobs, hard news from friends and just life, I haven’t just haven’t been living. Really living, you know enjoying each moment as best I can-something that yoga often reminds me to do. I told my boyfriend about your challenge and we’re both trying to commit ourselves to follow through with it. I can say already that spending these few moments on myself each day (and getting back into my yoga practice) has allowed me to begin to think differently about my situation and look on the brighter side of things. While I am hoping to regain some flexibility, I am already reaping some small rewards of inner calmness and happiness that has been escaping me these past few months. Wow, such a long comment for a simple thank you-but THANKS! Sometimes all you need is a kick in the butt to start doing what you know you should-you did that for me!

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Anne August 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Um…I love this blog, it has become one of the high lights of my day to check in and see what you have posted! I hope that doesn’t seem creepy ;)
I love the Lord, food, wine, running, clothes, shoes, and yoga…so this is all right up my alley!!

I’m joining the challenge and I started tonight with the Lunar Yoga you recommended. I stopped doing Bikram Yoga about a month ago and it felt so nice to be back on my mat tonight :) Thanks for inspiring me!

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Anne August 4, 2011 at 5:56 am

Jenna-I have fallen completely in love with this blog over the last few weeks. I love the Lord, food, books, wine, running, clothes, yoga and shoes…so this is right up my alley :)

I am committed to the challenge and started yesterday…it was a crazy busy day but even at 11:30 when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed with my new book (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter) I rolled out my mat and did the 20 minute Lunar Flow routine you recommended. I loved it :) Once I was on my mat I knew I had made the right choice!

Thanks for getting me back in the routine :) Thanks for this blog, I just love it!

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candace August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

I had already committed to 7 days of yoga, starting August 1, when I saw your 21 day challenge post the other day. I am going to try and continue for the 21 days. I always feel so great when I am doing yoga regularly, I don’t know why I ever let my yoga practice slip.

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